The former Chestatee High School band director was indicted Wednesday, March 10, on charges alleging sexual contact with a student, according to court documents.
Daniel Merck, of Gainesville, was indicted on charges of sexual assault of a student and sexual exploitation of children.
Merck was originally arrested Oct. 3, 2019, two days after Hall County Schools became aware of allegations against Merck of an inappropriate relationship with a former student in the 2015-2016 school year, according to the school district.
The school district said Merck has worked with the school system since 1999 and was a music teacher and band director.
Hall County Schools spokesman Stan Lewis said Merck resigned two weeks following his arrest.
According to the indictment, Merck was accused of engaging in “sexual contact by having sexual intercourse” with the student “who the accused knew and should have known was a student enrolled at Chestatee High School.”
The Hall County Sheriff’s Office said the case involved a 16-year-old girl.
The second count alleged that Merck had a sexually explicit photograph of a minor.
“Daniel is a loved and respected teacher that has committed his entire life to teaching and mentoring Hall County youth,” defense attorney Blake Poole said in a statement. “We ask that the community keep an open mind and allow the case to unfold before rushing to judgment. As will all Georgians charged with crimes, Daniel is innocent unless and until the state can prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”